Although it may be true that no two people are exactly alike, it is equally true that those who share a generation -- Baby Boomers, Generation Xers -- have many preferences in common. Real estate managers who recognize these preferences and devise generational marketing strategies to address them are a big step ahead of the competition. Whether you are managing a new building or are taking on an existing property with many units already leased, determining the generational market is an important first step. Careful consideration of a newly renovated property's potential market helped Steven Van Zile, CPM, a manager at Eugene Berger Management Corp, in Rohnert Park, CA, take aim at a generational market. Ultimately, real estate managers can improve their lease-up process with careful assessment of their target audience, as well as incorporating a tailored approach to their residential needs.
strategies to address them are a big tion. Second, they need to look at the step ahead of the competition. residents already in place and deter- “The hardest task to figure out is mine their primary age group. Knowing who the primary market will be,” said Laurence Harmon, CPM®, CRE. With that information in hand, they can devise what the Harmons call what makes “Often, property managers will tell us a “rifle” approach to marketing, rather generations tick that they house residents of all ages. While that may be true, in the analysis than the “nuclear weapon” methodol- ogy that attempts to include every TION of the property’s demographics, there potential feature of the property in is always a primary age cohort.” marketing efforts. Laurence Harmon is principal at “Ads in rental magazines often have McGough Companies, a property a blizzard of fonts, headlines, graph- development and construction firm ics, photos, lists of amenities, prices in St. Paul, Minn. Kathleen Harmon and maps,” Kathleen Harmon said. is key to your ® CPM, ARM , has been president “That’s the opposite of what we’re marketing and and CEO of McKenna Management Associates, Inc. for 25 years and is trying to do.” Generational marketing may sound leasing success. CEO of Great Places, Inc., a Web- based resource for senior housing, like a risky approach to some property managers who fear that in using it, which the couple launched in 2007. they may violate the Fair Housing BY JANICE ROSENBERG The two wrote Marketing Residential Act. Title VIII of the Civil Rights Properties: The Science and the Magic Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as Apartment Avaiable: (IREM, 2008), their fourth book, in amended, prohibits discrimination in Newly rehabbed loft part to stimulate property managers the sale, rental and financing of dwell- in a great location! and on-site personnel to intensify ings, and in other housing-related Amenities include a swim- their marketing efforts even during transactions, based on race, color, ming pool, fitness center party significant slowdowns in the housing national origin, religion, sex, familial room, dog run and new stain- industry. status…and handicap (disability). less steel appliances Close “The book expands the focus of Marketing to a specific slice of the proximity to public residential advertising to include for- population in no way implies that you transportation. sale marketing techniques,” Laurence will rent only to that slice. Harmon said. “It recognizes that resi- “Fair housing is involved with pro- All of these phrases sound like a dent
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